by Cliff KincaidGore's ConnectionsFri Mar 23, 2007 14:09AL GORE, THE UNITED NATIONS, AND THE CULT OF GAIA
by Cliff Kincaid
Director, American Sovereignty Action Project
Though presented to the public as a Southern Baptist, Vice President Albert Gore wrote a book entitled Earth in the Balance, in which he writes sympathetically about Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis. One chapter is entitled, "Environmentalism of the Spirit." Sounding like a preacher, Gore says the Gaia concept is able to "evoke a spiritual response in many of those who hear it." In this context, he adds that "...the simple fact of the living world and our place on it evokes awe, wonder, a sense of mystery — a spiritual response — when one reflects on its deeper meaning."
The Vice President talks about "seeing God in the world" and ourselves, asking, "Why does it feel faintly heretical to a Christian to suppose that God is in us as human beings?" Perhaps this is because Christians are taught that Jesus Christ mediates between God and man.
Although the Christian Bible refers to man being made in the image of God, Gore says that by "experiencing nature in its fullest" we can use our senses and our "spiritual imagination" to glimpse "an infinite image of God" in the world.22 Gore seems to be talking about much more than seeing beauty in nature.
Gore also displays an appreciation for Native American religions, quoting from a speech supposedly delivered by Indian Chief Seattle in which the Earth is called "our Mother."
Moreover, he goes even further back in history, writing sympathetically about cultures that worshipped an Earth goddess and attacking Christianity for eliminating those influences:
The spiritual sense of our place in nature predates Native American cultures; increasingly it can be traced to the origins of human civilization. A growing number of anthropologists and archaeomythologists, such as Marija Gimbutas and Riane Eisler, argued that the prevailing ideology of belief in prehistoric Europe and much of the world was based on the worship of a single Earth goddess, who was assumed to be the font of all life and who radiated harmony among all living things. Much of the evidence for the existence of this primitive religion comes from the many thousands of artifacts uncovered in ceremonial sites. These sites are so widespread that they seem to confirm the notion that a goddess religion was ubiquitous throughout much of the world until the antecedents of today's religions — most of which still have a distinctly masculine orientation — swept out of India and the Near East, almost obliterating belief in the goddess. The last vestige of organized goddess worship was eliminated by Christianity as late as the fifteenth century in Lithuania.23
Both Gore and Timothy Wirth were directly involved with a group called the "Joint Appeal by Religion and Science for the Environment." They met with various religious leaders and scientists in Washington in May of 1992 to formulate a religious plan of action to save the environment. One of them, The Very Reverend James Park Morton, serves as Dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, an Episcopal Center which houses an organization called the Gaia Institute. He essentially declared that the purpose of the Christian Church is to worship the creation, not the Creator:
The challenge before the religious community in America is to make every congregation — every church, synagogue and mosque — truly "green" — a center of environmental study and action. That is their religious duty.
Other participants in the Washington event included climatologist Stephen Schneider and U.N. official Maurice Strong.
The Earth Summit
Gore was a participant in and Strong was the secretary-general of the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, otherwise known as the "Earth Summit," which produced an international document, Agenda 21, calling for "sustainable development." The conference also resulted in creation of a U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development and, in the U.S., a President's Commission on Sustainable Development.
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), established in 1972, commissioned a major collection of articles entitled Ethics & Agenda 21, treating the issue of respect for the environment as a moral and religious concern. One article, "A Theological/Ethical Response to Agenda 21," was written by Sallie McFague, who has lectured on "A Christian Ecological View of Human Beings." Her article called for rejecting the Western model of the Earth in favor of the "ancient organic model" which "can serve to incite the needed change in perspective." She explained:
The organic model, which is found in cultures and religions in Native American traditions, Goddess religions, and even in Christianity's incarnationism, portrays Earth as a body.24
The "organic model" is obviously the Gaia concept. McFague's notion of the incarnation of Christ being ecological is truly unique and sounds like a New Age formulation of Christianity that Vice President Gore might embrace.
Like Gore, Maurice Strong shares enthusiasm for the Gaia hypothesis. "Strong has integrated the [Gaia] idea into the political institutions of the world through the UNEP and its affiliated governmental and non-governmental organizations," writes Henry Lamb, a long-time observer of Strong.25 Strong has reportedly said the only thing that might save Earth is a "worldwide spiritual awakening."26
Lamb labels Strong a "mystic" and notes that he and his wife opened a community in Colorado called Baca Grande, a "mecca for mystics," which they hoped would one day become the "Vatican City of the New World Order." One group wanted to build a 46-story, pink granite pyramid on the site in compliance with instructions from an "intergalactic leader named Commander Kuthumi who was channeling from the planet Arturus."27 Channeling refers to an outside force or entity using a person's body to communicate, a practice denounced by Christians as demonic.
Personally, Strong is reported to be an adherent of the Baha'i World Faith which proclaims the unity of all religions.28 At the opening of the Earth Summit, Strong declared:
..The change in behavior and direction called for here must be rooted in our deepest spiritual, moral and ethical values. We must reinstate in our lives the ethic of love and respect for the Earth which must be accompanied by a revitalization of the values central to all of our principal religious and philosophical traditions...29
Reflecting Strong's influence, the UNEP established a project to create an "Environmental Sabbath" and get religions involved in a crusade to "save" the environment. One of its work products was the aforementioned Ethics & Agenda 21 document. Formally titled the "North American Environmental Sabbath Planning Committee," this group was composed of the following individuals:
Dr. Noel J. Brown, Director, U.N. Environmental Program.
Dr. John J. Kirk (Sabbath Coordinator), Director and Professor of Environmental Studies, Montclair State College, Branchville, New Jersey.
Pierre Quiblier, Outreach and Liaison Coordinator, U.N. Environmental Program.
Donald B. Clark, Executive Secretary, Cornucopia Network of New Jersey, Inc., Nutley, New Jersey.
Donald Conroy, S.T.L., PhD., President, North American Coalition on Religion and Ecology, Washington, D.C.
Sister Dorothy Farley, O.P. Richmond Hill, New York.
Mrs. Joy Finlay (Canadian Coordinator), Sherwood Park, Alta., Canada.
Sister Eileen Fitz Maurice, C.N.D., New York, New York.
Sister Gloria Garcia, C.S.J., Jamaica, New York.
Richard Jordan, Global Futures Network, New York, New York.
Dr. Peter Laurence, Executive Director, The Temple of Understanding, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York, New York.
Margo LaZaro, Peace Awareness Council, New York, New York.
Norma U. Levitt, World Union for Progressive Judaism, New York, New York.
Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, Department of Religion, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania,
Dr. Ellen Vopicka, Federation of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Dobbs Ferry, New York.
Targeting children, the UNEP distributed "An Environmental Sabbath — Earth Rest Day Guide" which carried the cover headline "Our Children Their Earth." In a section of the publication recommending games and activities to "save the Earth," junior and high school students were told to:
Gather 'round a beautiful tree. Look, listen and meditate upon it as long as you can. When your attention starts to wander from the tree, raise your hand. You may be surprised to discover how restless your mind is. Discuss with the group why you think this is. Then try again to experience the tree, for only by contemplating with a quiet mind can we fully experience and reverence nature [emphasis added].
Strong is currently directing the U.N. "reform" effort and helping to implement an "Earth Charter," in coordination with former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. The document calls for the protection of "Mother Earth" and urges respect for "each life form," language interpreted to mean recognition of animal rights. Besides his work for the U.N., which earned him the title "Father Earth," Strong served as a member of the board and became president of the Better World Society in 1988. This is an organization started by Ted Turner.
An outspoken critic of Christianity, Turner has ruled out going to heaven, saying, "Who wants to go to a place that's perfect?" He said it would be "boring."30
He has been quoted as saying that Christianity is a religion "for losers," that he didn't need anyone to die for him, and that the Ten Commandments are "obsolete." In place of the Ten Commandments, Turner unveiled his own ten voluntary initiatives. The first involved loving and respecting the planet Earth and all living things. Two involved support for the United Nations. He told a U.N. radio program in 1986, "Down with nationalism. Up with internationalism."
Maurice Strong became president of Turner's Better World Society during a time when Turner had shed his image as a conservative and was emerging as someone devoted to U.S.-Soviet cooperation, disarmament and various causes embraced by the U.N. His Better World Society produced and distributed a number of films on international themes which aired on Turner's cable channels. One, "A Step Away From War," was so biased that even the liberal Washington Post labeled it as "baldly propagandistic." The one-sided nature of the films prompted one pro-defense group to ask for equal time.
The Better World Society had also presented a "Population Stabilization Medal" to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, which helped underwrite Communist China's population control program of forced abortions, involuntary sterilization and infanticide.
Other members of the group's board included Dr. Julia J. Henderson, former secretary-general of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and Georgi Arbatov, a Soviet Communist Party official.
On communism itself, Turner was quoted in Fortune magazine in 1986 as saying, "Communism is fine with me. It's part of the fabric of life on this planet." His wife, Jane Fonda, was labeled a traitor for making common cause during the Vietnam War with the Communist enemy killing Americans. But the controversy continued even during the Persian Gulf War, when Turner's CNN was widely criticized for serving as a propaganda vehicle for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Personally, Turner has been close to Cuban Communist dictator Fidel Castro and it is no surprise that Turner's CNN was the first American news organization to recently be allowed to open a news bureau in Havana.
Humanist of the Year
Another turning point in his career came in 1990 when he received the "Humanist of the Year Award," given by the American Humanist Association, a so-called non-governmental organization with official U.N. status. Humanism is a controversial philosophy which seeks to eradicate God-centered ideas from human affairs. Over the years, there have been two versions of a so-called "Humanist Manifesto," the second deploring "the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds" and urging the "development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government." By the 1990s, Turner confirmed that he had approved a network policy to highlight U.N. conferences and U.N. themes with special programs. These included One Child — One Voice, warning of environmental disasters; a series called People Count, on population issues; and Our Planetary Police, touting U.N. peacekeeping operations.
AL GORE, THE UNITED NATIONS, AND THE CULT OF GAIA
by Cliff Kincaid
Director, American Sovereignty Action Project
Main Page - Wednesday, 03/28/07
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